France to take over NATO European leadership?
What exactly is the limitation that precludes the Typhoon from being modified to serve in the nuclear strike role? The smaller and lighter Mirage 2000, which was also designed primarily as an air-superiority fighter like the Typhoon, performed the nuclear strike role for the French. What technological limitation would stop the Germans from similarly modifying the Typhoon?
Not the German version.Is not that's such a huge issue.The Germans don't sell it bc they cannot find clients.So no trade secrets lost.And hopefully the Germans don't plan to fight US,even if the devilish fascist Trump is now the great white father in Washington.
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Realistically - we prefer to keep two different aircraft models around, not a single fleet of the same type. Been doing it that way since the 50s. Main reason for this is that if you're grounding one type for some technical reason you're not grounding your whole fleet like this.
Buying additional Eurofighters, or rather setting aside money for them, might have been a possibility fifteen years ago. If we replace Tornado now it'll definitely be with another aircraft different from the Eurofighter. If we wanted to shift over the Tornado roles, integrating them into the Eurofighter, then we'd only do so if we're downsizing our fleet and giving up the two-aircraft model at the same time.
A Leopard II/Leclerc replacement seems like a fair tradeoff. I assume the French HK-416 selection isn't a big enough order to offset a project like the Tornado replacement.
This instead of previous affairs where you basically even had to divide physical work based on how much each side was worth - as in previously "we're buying 40% of it, we want 40% of the aircraft - ...each component maybe even... - to be produced here too". Hence why e.g. Eurofighter has parallel production lines in Germany, the UK and Italy. That is pretty much what is being abandoned.
There are medium-sized joint projects - bilateral between Germany and France mostly - that have been successful with a similar style of operations that came from original separate procurement. One such example is the joint military satellite reconnaissance network, in which Germany fields radar imaging satellites and France fields electro-optic imaging satellites; the two systems are connected and both capabilities available to either nation to complement each other. Both nations have the lead role for their respective field and under their own auspices upgrade and renew their existing part without "intruding" on the other's side of the system. Both countries have supplemental other systems that the other doesn't have access to, and which they keep outside this project, integrating the data yielded only on their side; this in particular includes ELINT satellites on the French side.
There's of course always one other fall-back idea for FCAS. Simply integrate the Dutch and Belgian F-35 into the German Air Force - gonna happen at some point in the next two decades - switch some Eurofighters and F-35 around between wings and then copy whatever the British and Italians have been doing. As a fall-back option that'd be a pretty nice, clean one.
Last edited by kato; 12 Jan 17, at 18:24.
Personally I'd think the way to go would be for each member to contribute their area of expertise towards a common ELINT sat, then share intel across the constellations for better coverage. Of course that approach requires more trust, since you are showing the other party the goods.
If for some reason the FCAS program went down in flames, I'm sure the US would be more than happy to sell later block F-35s to any NATO members that want them. Still, as nice as additional F-35 sales might be for our domestic procurement prices, I'd actually rather see a solid European 5th gen competitor emerge to keep the US defense primes honest. It also prevents a potential unknown flaw with the F-35 or FCAS from dooming alliance airpower altogether.
Last edited by SteveDaPirate; 12 Jan 17, at 21:31.
Last edited by kato; 13 Jan 17, at 07:00.
Fully appreciate that technology and the threat changes. Just find the German position hard to understand. Why abandon a platform that you already own for a French one...Also Clearly the F35 is a great aircraft. But it's not German and is hardly a replacement for the tornado.....A little work on the typhoon and the Germans have their updated more modern replacement.
Worth while noting that US strategy is moving away from current 4th 5th 6th gen language...and is moving more toward air superiority
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